Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, May 2004

If the record industry is about to give up, this is of course largely due to the ubiquitous illegal copying, but it is also due to the fact that the classic CD for around 17 euros offers almost zero added value compared to a free MP3 collection. Only a few labels realize that they have to offer good packaging in addition to music - the record industry as a packaging industry, why not? If there is no booklet, no bonus DVD and no special edition box on offer, then the aura of the product should at least be conjured up through consistent retro charm. The Japanese - masters of packaging and great lovers of puristic design - have z. B. with their great cardboard slipcase edition of the legendary Blue Note albums showed how the aura of a classic can be captured with the simplest of means. All they had to do was offer the CD as a miniature version of the original album - in the miniaturized original cardboard cover, of course. Beat Inc., label and distributor from Tokyo, has the concept now at four early Hit- and On U soundTransfer releases. For these noble re-releases, the original recordings were remastered and enriched with up to six bonus tracks. Of course, the CDs are printed with the original label and are in small protective sleeves, which in turn are in beautiful reproductions of the original covers. In terms of design, these dimensions naturally lag behind the Blue Note works of art - but holding them in your hands in miniature format brings back pleasant memories. There are also liner notes and a greeting from Adrian Sherwood on a leaflet in Japanese!

Since the long-standing German distributor of On U-Sound, EFA-Medien, had to close its doors a few weeks ago, the On U boss is now re-importing the Japanese CDs and bringing them to German stores through the Indigo distributor. For this deal, he carefully selected four very old classics from his oeuvre: three times Creation Rebel with "Rebel Vibrations", "Dub From Creation "(both Hitrun) and "Starship Africa" as well as the debut album of New Age Steppers (both On-U-Sound). The two early Hitrun productions from 1978 and 1979 are among the first documents of Sherwood's production activities. While at first glance they appear to be "classic" rootsDub with sad melodica melodies by Dr. Pablo, the virtuosity of the can be seen on closer listening Dub-Meisters who often surpasses those of the great heroes King Tubby, Lee Perry or Errol Brown. Here, with the early albums, Sherwood's thirst for experimentation is still within respectable limits. The mix is ​​no more important than the beat, although it is a constant asset to him. In the following year the relationship was radically reversed in another Creation Rebel production: “Starship Africa” was by far the most experimental Dub-Album of its time, which caused Rodigan to say: "Adrian, what the hell do you think you are doing to reggae?" As early as 1977, the rhythms for "Starship-Africa" ​​by bassist Tony Henry and Charlie "Eskimo" Fox has been recorded. A year later, Sherwood Style got to know Scott, who played Eskimo's drums again in another recording session dubpracticed and gave them the necessary pressure in the first place. In 1979 there was finally enough studio time to tackle the final mix. For this purpose, all tracks were re-recorded continuously in reverse and provided with delay and reverb effects. Then the original and the "reverse copy" were mixed together - sometimes at random. A crazy but very successful experiment that still sounds fresh and innovative today. The New Age Steppers album, which, by the way, was also the first album on the new On U Sound label, is similarly experimental, but far more dissonant. It was recorded by musicians from the Pop Group, the Flying Lizards and Aswad. It celebrated its greatest successes in Japan, probably because of the singer Ariana Foster aka Ari Up, whose voice as bright as a bell can be heard on two cover versions: Junior Byles “Fade Away” and Bim Sherman's “Love Forever” - both of which she interprets in a very weird way . Anyone who collects On-U-Sound and just wants to save the beginnings of this legendary label into the digital age - possibly just to save the pieces as MP3 files on the iPod - these good-sounding and excellent-looking Japan imports are urgent recommended.

Lee Perry is often considered one of the originators of the Dub designated. On the one hand, this may be due to the fact that his eccentric mode of production likes to work with Dub is equated, on the other hand it may be because the Black Ark recordings are full Dub-Effects stuck and its sound good a lot of the depth and heaviness Dub-Tunes owns. But while Dub rather on a decomposition and reduction of the rhythms and their reconstruction by the Dub-Mix based, the exact opposite is actually the case with Perry's "layer" technique: He superimposes sound levels layer by layer until his typical, complex, impenetrable Black Ark sound is achieved.

From this point of view, very few of Perry's are real Dub-Albums out. Three of them, namely Blackboard Jungle Dub, Cloak & Dagger and Revolution Dub are now together on the double CD Lee Perry, "Dub-Triptych " (Trojan / Sanctuary / Roughtrade) available. The first part of the second CD is quite the best known Dub Work dedicated to Lee Perry, “Blackboard Jungle”, which, strictly speaking, isn't his, but King Tubby's Dub-Work is because he mixed it. The fame of this album is based in part on the fact that "Blackboard" was one of the first Dub-Albums at all. Even more decisive for the success and fame of the album was the selection of the great Perry rhythms of the early 70s. So you can find superb here Dub-Mixes of hits like “Fever” and “Place Called Africa” by Junior Byles or “Kaya”, “Dreamland” and “Keep On Mooving” by the Wailers. Also the Dub-Version of Dillinger's tribute to King Tubby, "Dub Organizer ”is included here. (Needless to say, King Tubby has these Dubs "organized" excellently!). In the second part of the second CD, the pieces from Perry's first are self-mixed Dub-Album, "Dub Revolution ”to be heard. It's hard to beat when it comes to eccentricity, Perry, the Madman himself, gave everything. "Revolution Dub“Was released in 1975 and already contained early Black Ark recordings. In addition to highlights like one Dub-Cut from Junior Byles "The Long Way" and a nice minimalist mix of Jimmy Riley's Bobby Womack cover "Woman's Gotta Have It", there are also some less inspired pieces to be heard, which are characterized by the recordings of a television sitcom . CD1 of the set is completely dedicated to the album "Cloak & Dagger", but it is more of an instrumental than a one DubAlbum is. Kindly enough this CD has three bonus tracks, one of which is the Dub-Plate version of the title track "Cloak & Dagger" (rhythm of the "Blackboard Jungle" known "Dub Organizers ”) is.

Interestingly, almost at the same time as this Trojan re-release, the album "Blackboard Jungle" is a second time on the Auralux label under the title "Upsetters 14 Dub Blackboard Jungle " (Auralux / Indigo) including four bonus tracks released. The latter are three very unusual, completely unmixed rhythm tracks and a normal instrumental. If you are not a fanatical collector, you should be better off with the double CD from Trojan.

Let's stay with the classics: Augustus Pablos classic "King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown" (Shanachie / Just Records) has just been released by Shanachie Records. Paplo was one of the first producers that King Tubby started with Dub-Mixes of their productions. "King Tubby's Meets Rockers Uptown" was the first joint album by Pablo and Tubby and is now one of the essentials of every sophisticated reggae collection. Everything comes together here, what a good one Dub-Piece is necessary: ​​strong, melodically rolling basslines, clever arrangements, beautiful melodies and of course an inspired mix that reduces the pieces to their base, the interplay of drum and bass, and then reassembles them from there. Tubby has seldom mastered this art better than here. It's a pleasure to hear how he controls the dynamics of the rhythms and gives each beat its own little dramaturgy. The power of the pieces is simply extraordinary. Even if they sound a little historical today, their musical quality is unbroken. So a masterpiece; The label makers at Shanachie were also aware of this and have enriched their “Deluxe Edition” with four bonus tracks that present four alternative mixes. These are not mandatory, but there is nothing against them.

I still have one classic: "Riddim - The Best Of Sly & Robbie In Dub 1978 to 1985 " (Trojan / Sanctuary / Roughtrade). On this double CD there are 40 instrumental and Dub-Versions compiled from the Trojan archive in which Sly & Robbie operate drum and bass. In this respect, the title “The Best Of…” is clearly too high, because measured against the total output of the Rhythm Twins, the bundle at Trojan's home is only a tiny part. In addition, the pieces on this CD are not Sly & Robbie productions, but were mainly created under the direction of Bunny Lee, Linval Thompson and Jah Thomas. Which of course does not mean that inferior material is gathered here. Not at all! Sly & Robbie can't be bad at all and Sly's double-drumming is always a pleasure. The CD also offers an intensive course in Channel One sound.

Ryan Moore is a real one Dub-Nerd. For 20 years he has been sitting alone in his small home studio on a Persian carpet, fiddling with controls and slides and publishing under the name Twighlight Circus sometimes Dub-Plates. He plays all the instruments needed for his pieces himself and mixes his own Dubs live in the old fashion. A real traditionalist, whose music sounds exactly like that. It actually lives exclusively from the warm, analogue sound and the deep bass hum. In terms of composition, they usually have less to offer, which means that his albums always tend to be a bit boring. (This is one of the reasons why he has recently made a vocal album.) His latest and 11th album is a compilation for the American label Roir under the title "Dub From The Secret Vaults " (Roir / Import). To do this, he dug deep into his archives and lifted previously unpublished material from 20 years of creativity. Now, of course, the legitimate question arises as to whether the lack of quality was the reason that these pieces have not yet been released. Because the best material shouldn't be left to waste in the archive for years. Bingo! The Secret Vaults contained a lot, including an almost 20 year old production on cassette - but nothing really exciting. Aside from maybe three okay pieces, the rest of it remains pretty uninspired. Too bad.

The same applies to that Dub-Flash album "AB-10 Meets Uptown Selector" ( AB-10 is a Dub-Duo from Helsinki who are already on the Dubhead sampler "Dub Solidarity 1 ”could be heard. Uptown Selector is a DJ, also from Helsinki. After the fantastic record of the Finnish Lightman (see last issue) there were several reasons for this DubAlbum from Helsinki to be excited. But the disillusionment is all the greater when "AB-10 Meets Uptown Selector" proves itself to be a largely conventional neoDub turns out.

How more contemporary Dub can sound, proves the Berlin mini label Meteosound once again with the new EP by Lars Fenin: "Sustain EP" (Meteosound / Indigo). Known for its fusion sounds between techno and Dub Meteosound stands alongside Echo Beach (which cooperate with each other) and Basic Channel in Germany for a progressive, open-minded idea of Dubwho think outside the box of classic reggaeDub looks out. It is almost unbelievable how perfect and absolutely stepless minimal techno beats and Dub-Grooves can be combined with each other and what enrichment this combination represents for both genres. Lars Fenin demonstrates this again with flying colors; unfortunately only on 6 tracks and unfortunately only on vinyl. But good music can take any format!

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